• FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) (The Associated Press)

US average 30-year mortgage rate declines to 3.48 percent

Markets Associated Press

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week.

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.48 percent from 3.50 percent last week. The benchmark rate is down from 3.86 percent a year ago, and is close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate eased to 2.76 percent from 2.77 percent.

Prices of long-term U.S. Treasury bonds rose, pushing their yields lower, as investors awaited the decision of the Federal Reserve Wednesday on interest rates. The Fed kept its key interest rate unchanged but signaled that it likely will raise rates before year's end. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the yield on 10-year Treasury notes.